Awards Daily chats with LaMonica Garrett about The CW’s Elseworlds crossover event with Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, working with Nicolas Cage on a new film, and why comic books are a popular escape from reality.
“It was a punch in the stomach.”
LaMonica Garrett, who Designated Survivor fans know as Mike Ritter, describes what it was like finding out his character was cut from the new season of the series when it moves to Netflix in 2019.
“I look at it this way,” says Garrett. “I would have really liked to stay on the show, but it didn’t happen. Two weeks later, I’m a comic book character that I grew up reading about, a cosmic being from a different galaxy.”
The character Garrett is talking about is The Monitor, whom he’ll be portraying in The CW’s three-series crossover event on Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, starting Sunday, December 9.
“It all works out. I’m having a blast right now. I’ve never worked in this genre, and the fans are amazing. I’m hearing from people all over the world.”
Elseworlds on The CW
When it came to filming a character on three different The CW series, Garrett had to summon his own superhuman ability of keeping track of which show he was on.
“Melissa [Benoist], Grant [Gustin], Stephen [Amell]—they’ve done this before. They’re familiar with the other sets and other shows. With me, one day I’m working on Flash, the next day I’m on Arrow, then I’m back on Flash, then I’m on Supergirl. I’m trying to remember names and faces, but everything’s clouding together. It was a challenging schedule, but it was fun to do.”
Plus, this doesn’t even include the challenge of putting on the suit.
“I had my own team to help me put on The Monitor outfit, 40 minutes each time I would put it on and take it off. I couldn’t sit down in between takes. The suit was not very comfortable, but I don’t think any of them are. You’re not just going to put that on and watch a football game. In between takes, I’m standing around, leaning against a wall, the cape is like 15 or 20 pounds, so that’s pulling you back while you’re standing up.”
But it was all worth it, since Garrett was getting to live out his childhood dream.
“You get lost in that world as a kid, and then when you grow up, you’re not supposed to like any of that stuff anymore. It shouldn’t be that way. For a while, [reading comics] was frowned upon, having your head buried in comic books, but now it’s fun, we’re all big kids again. Reality isn’t the best right now, so why not live in this world? This world is fun. It tackles social issues, things that are going on, but it does it in a way that’s not as heavy-hearted. And you get to see people kick ass and fight.”
Getting Primal with Nicolas Cage
In addition to playing The Monitor, Garrett has a role in the new action flick Primal, about an assassin who lets a bunch of exotic zoo animals loose on a ship.
“Primal is one of those old-school action films where you got a bad guy, you gotta find him—what’s in the way? It takes place on a ship, and what can go wrong will and does. They put together a really good cast and the script is fun. When I read the script, it made me think of the first Predator. The heightened sense of alertness throughout the whole film, knowing you’re on edge the whole time, fast-paced until it’s over.”
Garrett also got to work with Academy Award-winning actor, Nicolas Cage.
“Nicolas is, like, the best dude. He’s a professional times a thousand and just a fun dude to be around. These mega-stars like that, you never know. If you didn’t know he was Nicolas Cage, he’d just be one of the guys hanging out.”
Future for The Monitor?
As a comic book nerd, Garrett isn’t sure what’s in store for his The Monitor character, since he knows the outcome according to the story canon.
“All of the other superheroes are on-going [for the most part]. They just keep going from issue to issue; The Monitor is one of the most iconic figures in the DC Universe because of crisis on infinite earth and because he knew he was going to die, but didn’t and the powers that he had in him he gave to someone else to defeat the bigger crisis that was coming. He knows his own fate, so I don’t know long his show will last. They’d have to get real creative. I’d love it as the actor! I’m not sure how much story there is to tell for The Monitor.”
But if he does get the call for more Monitor, he knows what he has to do.
“I’m going to have to do some more lower-back workouts, because your lower back is on fire from the cape pulling you in the wrong direction.”
Elseworlds crossover event airs on The CW starting Sunday, December 9 with The Flash, followed by Arrow on Monday, December 10, and ending with Supergirl on Tuesday, December 11.